What the Bridal Veil Symbolizes
Find out the history of the wedding custom
By Jen Whitten
The wedding veil is a popular headpiece brides wear during the ceremony. The bridal veil symbolizes many things, even though the modern bride treats it as an accessory.
In ancient cultures, a bride wore a veil for protection against dangerous sand storms and evil spirits that could cause her harm. From a practical perspective, the wedding veil kept the groom in an arranged marriage from looking on his bride's face until after he had taken his vows.
Bridal veils symbolize purity and innocence. Because only first-time brides are virgins, tradition dictates that brides do not wear a veil for the second marriage.
When the groom lifts the veil at the end of the ceremony, it symbolizes that he has taken over for the care of his bride. A modern bride may lift her own veil to symbolize that she is giving herself away as an equal partner in the marriage.
The common elements of the wedding veil also have origins steeped in tradition. The choice of a lace veil over more common tulle represents wealth, as does the tiara.
Although the white wedding veil is a modern tradition, white was not always the color of preference. Christians in the Renaissance era preferred blue, while ancient Greeks chose fiery shades of red and yellow.
About the Author
Jen Whitten is a freelance writer and worked in the event and wedding planning fields.
Browse By Top DexKnows Cities
- St Paul
Brides who love comfort and style don't have to choose one over the other when it comes to wedding shoes. Fancy flip-flops have a place in today's weddings. Wear them with your dress throughout the ceremony and reception, or wear heels for the ceremony and switch to flip-flops for the reception.... Read More
Purchase garter belt
Following tradition to the very last letter? Then grab a garter belt during a shopping trip. Kill two birds with one stone and make it your "something blue."
View your wedding checklist!
The most formal of veils, also known as a royal veil. Standard length is 108 inches; the veil extends onto the floor.View the Full Weddings Glossary